Public Confidence in the War on Terrorism Tumbles

And now the most interesting two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:

Syrian Silence...
President Bush's call for Syria to close terrorists training camps and kick terrorist organizations out of the country was met with official silence by Syrian government officials, but the people of that country may never have heard about it. That's because the country's three official newspapers simply left it out of their coverage. The AP reports from Damascus that the Syrian papers did include almost everything else the president said.

Not Doubting Dubya, but...
President Bush's job approval remains high, but public confidence in the war on terrorism has tumbled sharply. That's the result of a new USA Today/Gallup poll that found only 33 percent of those surveyed think the United States and its allies are winning the war. That's the lowest confidence level since Sept. 11 and it contrasts with 66 percent who thought the war was being won back in January. Now, 49 percent are saying that neither side is winning, with 14 percent saying the terrorists are.

Fake Funerals?
The BBC reports that Saddam Hussein's government fakes mass baby funerals for propaganda purposes. Correspondent John Sweeney says that dead children from around the country are kept in freezers for weeks or even months and then used in staged funerals in which their coffins are labeled -- in English -- "three days old" or "four days old." The Iraqis claim they are victims of the U.S.-led economic embargo. The BBC said its source for the story was a former Iraqi government security man who had fled, under suspicion of involvement in a plot to kill Saddam's son. The man said that Iraqi thugs had then tortured his two-year-old daughter, crushing the child's feet to the point where she is permanently hobbled.

A Cleric's Prayer
Meanwhile, last Friday's prayers from the Holy Mosque at Mecca, carried live on Saudi television, included this from a senior Muslim cleric: "O God, deal with the Jews and Zionists...scatter their assemblies...and let them and their property be a booty for Muslims." That information comes from the Independent Media Review and Analysis, an Israeli Web site, but the translation is attributed to the U.S. government's Foreign Broadcast Information Services.